WHAT IS THE SITE ABOUT? WHAT DOES “PSNT” MEAN?
When this website was created in 2010, I had just discovered negative (or apophatic) theology. This theology progresses by emphasizing the transcendence and radical otherness of God. In the end you get God’s sameness and immanence back, so it works out nicely, but to get there you have to be pretty serious about giving up your ideas — even your “good” ones — about God. My discovery of this tradition within Christianity was my theological homecoming.
At the same time I had wearied of the relentlessly positivistic character of science. Positivism says that knowledge comes only from sense experience coupled with logic and mathematical reasoning. Intuitive or subjective sources of understanding are rejected outright, as are claims of revelation, religious or otherwise. This philosophy pretty much drives science as we know it, and its success in that field is unquestioned. But it is woefully insufficient as a philosophy of life.
The positive-negative symmetry of all this struck me as a decent framework for approaching things, and I named the blog psnt.net for “positive science, negative theology.” Today my theology is still fundamentally apophatic and I am as convinced as ever that positivism, while brilliantly successful within science, is a dull and deadly approach to life. But the blog has mellowed a bit on both counts: I am more prone to see the value of traditional theology and I no longer write entire posts about the emptiness of New Atheism, a movement founded — so far as I can tell — on positivism.
It is the nature of religion to construe the world entire, and not in pieces. In view of this, psnt.net is a science and religion website that takes science as embedded within Christianity, as a natural extension of incarnational thought. For this reason psnt.net is more cultural than technical, and more religious and philosophical than scientific.
Thanks for reading,